COVID-19 Response and Reopening

On this page, we are sharing safety plans and other COVID-related information.
Please direct any questions to

Vaccine Information for Staff

11/17/2021: Update memo on vaccine mandate for staff

11/16/2021: Religious exemption request form for staff 

11/5/2021: Memo and information on federal vaccine mandate

5/14/2021: Informative Buffalo News article on vaccines

3/22/2021: DDAWNY COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A Video – this 1-hour informational video includes Empower DSP Devon Hedgemon, and a panel of other experts, to help you make an informed decision about vaccination – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1/19/2021: Vaccine Q&A for Empower Staff

Testing and Public Health Resources

Niagara County Health Department COVID-19 Page and Resources

Niagara County Health Department List of Testing Sites

NYS Department of Health: Find a Testing Site Near You

Empower Children’s Academy

7/9/2021: Updated Preschool Reopening/Safety Plan

5/6/2020: Letter to Families Regarding Return to 5-Day In-Person Instruction

12/17/2020: Children’s Academy Letter to Families About Holiday Precautions

12/4/2020: Children’s Academy Letter to Parents

11/17/2020: Children’s Academy Parent/Guardian Letter

11/20/2020: Letter to Families About Holiday Precautions

UPDATED 10/30/2020: Children’s Academy Reopening and Safety Plan (please note – this document is evolving and may change based on updated guidance from New York State)

August 2020: Children’s Academy Parent Letter (mailed to every family in the preschool, along with student-specific schedule information, in late August)

August 2020: Children’s Academy DOH Reopening Plan Highlights

OPWDD Services

7/12/2021: Letter to Families Regarding New COVID-19 Guidance for Community Housing Sites

7/9/2021: Letter to Day Services Families Regarding Updated OPWDD COVID-19 Guidance 

12/17/2020: Letter to Day Services Families Regarding Updated Holiday Precautions

11/20/2020: Letter to Day Services Families Regarding Holiday Precautions

Military Road Safety Plan (Empties for Empower and Job Placement)

Meadowbrook Safety Plan (Empties for Empower)

Grab & Go Cart Safety Plan (Prevocational)

Buffalo Avenue Safety Plan (Day Habilitation)

30th Street Safety Plan (Day Habilitation and Prevocational)

Porter Road Safety Plan (Day Services)

Family Support Services

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has released guidelines in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Below is a link to their COVID Guidance Page which includes information for providers, people receiving supports, and families as well as State and Federal resources.


Administrative Offices Safety Protocols Update (12-2021)

Administrative Offices Safety Plan 

Informational Videos